Road To The Olympic Games

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Snowboarder Tess Critchlow looking forward to World Cup event at home in Big White, B.C.

Critchlow describes her connection to Big White and the excitement of hosting a World Cup event close to home. Before heading to Big White, CBC Sports will have live coverage of the second snowboard cross World Cup event of the season in Cervinia, Italy on Dec.21 at 5:00 a.m. ET.

After taking last World Cup season off, 24-year-old 'ready' for podium finishes

Canadian Tess Critchlow finished ninth in her Olympic debut at PyeongChang. (Submitted by Snowboard Canada)

Tess Critchlow started snowboarding when she was just two years old and it's been a huge part of the now 24-year-old's life ever since.

It started out simple with a small hill in her backyard, then slowly progressed to bigger hills in her metaphorical backyard, Big White, BC.

Now having competed at the Olympics and multiple World Cups, Critchlow describes her connection to Big White and the excitement of hosting a World Cup event close to home.

Before heading to Big White, CBC Sports will have live coverage of the second snowboard cross World Cup event of the season in Cervinia, Italy on Dec. 21 at 5:00 a.m. ET.

Memorable moments on Big White? 

Tess Critchlow: Looking back, some of my favourite moments were getting to snowboard to school. I went to school up there for a couple of years, that was really fun. Also being able to hang out with great friends up on the resort. Tons of events, slopestyle, boarder cross and halfpipe. When I was young, I got to do all of them.

Memorable competitive moments on Big White? 

TC: I think I was about 12 and it was the first time I beat my brother in a snowboard cross race.

Coaches/staff that made an impression on you in Big White? 

TC: There's so many amazing staff up at Big White and honestly they've become like my family, they're my main community. I would say Michael J is my right-hand man, he has been super helpful and has done so much for me. The whole Schumann family have been really amazing.     

How Big White shaped your career? 

TC: Big White made my career! Learning to snowboard up there I went to lessons at the ski school. They've done so much for me. They've hosted all the events and given me all the opportunities and now that I'm up at a higher level they're supporting me in a really big way. They've just been really helpful in my career.

Memorable competitive moments in general?  

TC: My most memorable competitive moment would be the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018. It was a goal of mine since I was 14, that was when I really committed to it, and being able to achieve that was amazing, the experience was incredible.    

What does it mean for you to have a snowboard cross World Cup event hosted in Big White?

TC: Having a snowboard cross at Big White is very exciting. It means everything, it is where my career started and I did most of my snowboarding growing up. I have so many memories there. I think it is where my confidence really grew as a racer so being able to head home for a World Cup is really exciting. 

Where do you see yourself placed coming into the season and what is the goal going into a World Cup event at home? 

TC: I took last season off, so this will be a little bit of a different approach for me coming back more fresh and more ready. I am really excited to be back at Big White, so I think the game plan is similar but a bit of a different style for me. 

What are you hoping to accomplish this year at the Big White World Cup?

TC: I want to show my friends and community how I can ride and do my best for them and hopefully make it on top of the podium.

This piece has been published with the permission of Canada Snowboard. 

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